A Birthday Gift

My husband gave me a book for my last birthday by Alan Alda called IF I UNDERSTOOD YOU, WOULD I HAVE THIS LOOK ON MY FACE?  I've only read a few chapters but am enjoying the book and am hopeful that I will be learning some new things about the art and science of communication. 

Sadly,  so many of us grew up in dysfunctional families and never learned the skill  of clear and effective communication.   Below is a list of dysfunctional styles of communication taken from the book HEALING FOR ADULT CHILDREN OF ALCOHOLICS by Sara Hines Martin.  I'm amazed (and a bit embarrassed)  at the number that I revert to when I'm stressed or feel under attack. 

1)  Talk at, Not to a Person - this style lacks in sharing of feelings & emotion. 

2)  Talk About, Not to People - "Person A talks to Person B about Person C: the classic triangle" p. 62.  Fueled by fear of conflict and fear that others will be angry. 

3)  Little Eye Contact -

4)  Send Messages Through A Third Person

5)  Secrecy Rather Than Openness

6)  Confusing Messages - Example:  smiling when angry

7)  No Answers to Questions or Inadequate Explanations

8)  Passive Communication - Examples:  Not talking, hinting, pouting,  denying that anything is wrong, glaring, sighing, tardiness

9)  Acting Out - Examples:  slamming doors, throwing things, denying affection  

Here are some simple guidelines for functional communication:

1)  Talk to the person.

2)  Use direct eye contact.  

3)  Be open. 

4)  Answer questions directly and give explanations. 

5) Say what you feel rather than acting it out. 

6)  Share your feelings rather than giving should messages.  

I invite you to examine your communication style and be curious about it.  Is it effective?  How does your style affect the relationships in your life?  Does your style work for you or against you?  

Thanks for letting me communicate with you!!!!!!  

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